I played Peter for the second time. In this game I am Black and trying another Queen’s Indian variation.
Really, I don’t know what the variations are but I always seem to play one, and make it up as I go. My philosophy is try out different variations. For example, I really like the ..Bb4 one, and even my piece capture on d5 was weird, but I only did it to try something new, not necessarily looking for something better, merely different.
So my Class D opponent outplays me in the opening once again, but it was a fun game. Both of us made technical mistakes, it’s just that his one or two mistakes were huge compared to mine.
Compare this to my last game where I did play the same opening that we had played before, and I only did it because he played it so passively, but then again we were only heading for a draw, since he also knew what to look out for. Those kind of games for “rating points” are not as nearly as enjoyable an intellectual exercise.
…c5 was my first blunder in the game, I didn’t realize I’d be trying to stop a passed pawn with my Nd7 in a matter of a few more moves! If he could advance pawn to d7 of course, even if only as a zwischenzug (intermediate move), then that pawn could fork the squares c8 and e8, not good for Black. Better moves according to Crafty were the patient ones such as ..Rc8, ..Bd6, ..Qe7, ..f6 like that.
Let’s look at move 18 where I played ..h6. My second choice was ..Bc6 (protects the bishop, covers d7, and even prevents Qa4), and my third choice was …Qe4, which I had seen first and Crafty likes best. After I played ..h6, I felt that ..Qe4 was probably objectively best, or so my “spidey-sense” told me. But, I was a little worried about my back-rank after a trade of queens on e4, and then Re1 kicks my bishop and uh, how’s my back-rank working out for me? Oh, yeah, I’d have to spend more time looking at that happenstance, so ..h6 was also some luft to keep the tactical eventualities less complex.
..h6 cuts down on his immediate kingside attack (I know Aziridine will disagree and be right) moves such as Ng5 and Qf5 (I’d like to trap her away from the real action in the center, get her jammed into the h-file or so).
When the climax of the game began, he played RxN to avoid getting his queen trapped by Ra8, but both of us were too tactically weak to see that he had Ne5 instead, when …BxN, BxB keeps the attack going. I had only seen Ne5..Bxg2??, Qxf7+!, missed that intermediate move.
Crafty gives White the huge advantage even after White gives up the exchange except that instead of 23.Ne5!! (neither of us saw this, or at least I didn’t), he plays 23.Be5?? and I simply “remove the defender” to come out a piece and exchange ahead.
The good news is that by the end of the game I had around 25 minutes on my clock and he around 16, so I still had some “padding” on the clock, though not much, in case he had sprung one of those better moves on me.
Despite Peter’s rating, he drew a 1573 rated player at the Tri-Lakes tournament a short while back, for example. He also knew that he had had a winning opening against me in this game, but blew it late. He is a retired minister, I am told.